Mansa Foundation for Media and Development Studies has released the Declaration of Countering Hate Speech and Violence Incitement in the Yemeni media in the framework of confronting hate speech project which was implemented in partnership with UNESCO and the International Program for the Development of Communication (IPDC).
The Declaration was endorsed after consultative meetings and workshops involving media leaders from different Yemeni media outlets and social media activists in Sana'a and Aden.
The Declaration includes a number of principles aimed at reducing hate speech and violence incitement in the Yemeni media outlets that have been used to fuel violence and incite strife. The hate-laden media discourse has reflected negatively on the security and stability of the country which has been in a bloody conflict for nearly five years.
The Declaration of confronting hate speech called for a commitment to professionalism, abiding by the ethics of journalistic work in all media outlets, the consolidation of freedom, diversity and pluralism values and respect for truth and the right of the public to obtain it without distortion or modification.
The Declaration called for respecting human dignity and refraining from offending any category of the society or libeling others, emphasizing respect for the right of difference and diversity, the spread the values of coexistence and tolerance, and to promotion the values of dialogue, freedom and acceptance the other.
The Declaration also called for respect for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the international declarations sponsored by UNESCO, including the Sana'a Declaration on strengthening the independence and pluralism of the media and avoiding all that feeds and promotes a culture of hatred and violence. The Declaration calls for rejecting prejudice, discrimination and intolerance of any form, regional, sectarian or regional as well as shunning politically-motivated media confrontations and evoking the moral responsibility of the press towards society.
The Declaration of Confronting Hate Speech stressed the importance of supporting the values of peace and social security in Yemen and exposing the disastrous effects of the continuation of the war besides working to protect the society including children and juveniles against the dangers of media materials which include scenes of violence or behavioral patterns that encourage violence and contradict noble values. The Declaration emphasized the need for avoiding news coverage that incites hatred or violence based on racial, cultural or religious background.
The Declaration called for reviving the values of professional solidarity among journalists, rejecting all forms of injustice and repression of journalists as well as the release of all kidnapped journalists.
Countering Hate Speech Project has also produced a manual on confronting hate speech and violence incitement in the Yemeni media based on monitoring reports on the discourse of 15 Yemeni media outlets.
The manual, which is the first of its kind in Yemen, includes a brief overview of the country’s legal and legislative position on hate speech in the media as well as the principles and professional honor codes towards such a speech. The manual also includes the main vocabularies and labels used by the Yemeni media to promote hate speech among Yemenis and fan the mutual incitement between the various parties.